After the very emotional dedication on Thursday we went back to the hotel to swim in the pool, grab some food, and just relax before our flight to la Paz. There were many reminders to take our altitude medication, as many people were nervous about entering the high altitude of la Paz. However, only the most physically and mentally tough travelers refused to take the medicine, as the high altitude has little to no effect on them. Anyway, we arrived safely in “el alto” airport and quickly made our way to an enormous tourist bus that would take us to our hotel, yet on the way down from the airport we stopped by a high cliff side to admire the absolutely incredible view of La Paz at night. All the lights in the city combined to make what looked like one giant light show. This view was easily one of the most amazing I’ve ever seen, and trying to find words for it is nearly impossible, yet we were only surprised further when we arrived at our hotel, which turned out to be an extremely luxurious 5 star hotel. Not to mention very comfortable beds, which most of us were happy to take advantage of after a long day of travel. Written by Robert Brooks
The third day of the build was filled with a lot of wind and dust. We split up into two groups; one group continued digging a hole to move dirt into foundation for a house while the other group filled gaps in the bricks with cement. After our first break, we walked with Marilou, one of the new homeowners, to one of the local schools where her son Carlito goes. The walk was very windy and dust flew everywhere, getting in our eyes and sticking to our bodies. When we got to the school, kids in the playground saw us and ran up to the gate, yelling and screaming with excitement. For us to get in, one of the teachers at the school had to make the children get out of the way to open the gate. The kids swarmed us and were particularly excited to talk to Callie, who stuck out with her blonde hair, pale skin and blue eyes. We went from classroom to classroom and talked to the kids. We walked back to the worksite and had a delicious lunch. While eating lunch, Mr. Hattori gave us a lot of riddles and we tried solving them together for the rest of the day. We went back to work but ended a little earlier than usual so we could get back to the hotel in time for the traditional dances of Bolivia we were going to watch. After having dinner at the hotel, we went to a high school in an area of Santa Cruz, La Guardia. Our host was a man who was a beneficiary of a Habitat house and was very excited to show us the performance. The night was filled with a variety of elaborate costumes and amazing dances, representing many different regions in Bolivia, performed by a local dance academy of all ages. We were also enlightened with two songs accompanied by live guitar. The performance ended with the dancers getting every one of us up off our feet and leading us in different Bolivian dance. The night concluded with us getting some frozen yogurt and packing our suitcases to leave the hotel the next day. Written by Larine Hamied
Part 2: after half a day of hard work we had a fabulous work site lunch complete with the most heavenly peach juice ever experienced. After a few games with the kids however, it was back to work digging up some nice big holes for dirt to pack under the floors. As we said here we were getting “swol.” After several more hours of work we then went to play a quick game of soccer with the younger kids. During the game however, William Rushton took a nasty slide and dislocated his shoulder. It was all fixed though when on the bus ride to the hospital the bumpy road relocated with a big jolt. That night we enjoyed a bolivian dinner for the ages at the restaurant MED where barbecued ribs, steaks, and various sandwiches were to be had. After dinner very little else was to occur due to an extremely tiring day and the obvious need for sleep. Buenas noches.
(Part 1) Hola from Bolivia. Our 3rd day of adventure here in Santa Cruz started bright and early. After a 7 o’clock breakfast we were at the site in Cotoca and BAMMMM! We were killing ants, leveling ground, bungling Spanish, moving bricks, burning trash, digging holes, and meeting some of the nicest most down to earth people on the planet. Some of us were recruited to level out the house floors by beating a large concrete block into the dirt.
Written by Sam Downey
On Sunday, we went to orientation for our Habitat build. We were introduced to the families we were going to build for and we were able to see what type of houses we would be building during our trip. We also were able to learn about the Habitat branch in Santa Cruz as well. After that, we went out to our build site to see what our houses looked like and to understand what type of environment we would be building in. The houses were made of a lightweight brick, and all of the houses had a slanted roof in order to divert water when it rains. We ended the day with a dinner at a restaurant named Goss, and went to bed relatively early in order to prepare for our long day of working on Monday.